Our Team : The Children's Society

Liz Showell, fundraising director, takes us behind the scenes at the charity's fundraising department

Liz Showell, fundraising director, The Children's Society
Liz Showell, fundraising director, The Children's Society

How many fundraisers are there?

There are 129 fundraising staff overall, but we have a 50/50 split between those of us in the head office in central London and the rest, who are spread across the country. Of the latter group, there are 64 retail staff and 10 community fundraisers.

What do they do?

We split our fundraising into five different areas: individual giving, statutory, partnerships, retail and regional. We have a fairly balanced portfolio and each area raises a similar amount of about £5m.

The exceptions are individual giving, which raises about £11m, mainly because legacies alone in this area raise £6m, and partnerships, which manages about £2m because this is still in the development phase.

What's the total target?

For the year ending in March 2011, we have a target of just less than £30m, however, we are on track to raise £30.2m at the moment. In the year ending March 2010, we raised just short of £30m. Our fundraising spend is £11.5m.

What's in the pipeline?

Because of the uncertain financial climate, we are pursuing a strategy that focuses on the things that are most profitable for us.

We have identified seven key methods of fundraising - these include traditional methods that some might see as a little out of date, such as collection boxes for the home, and other methods, such as legacies.

What's it like in the office?

We're a very social division and we do lots of cake trolleys, which raise about £100 a time. There is generally quite a confident atmosphere, but at the moment there is also a high level of concern in the office about all of the cuts.

Interview by Sophie Hudson

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